It sketches in connections that lead to the right wing in the US and Venezuela. These involve a very messy set of legal proceedings concerning practices in the Honduran phone company (Hondutel). This case has been used by opponents of Zelaya to discredit him and his administration. The principal figures in this story are Roberto Carmona, a Venezuelan who participated in the abortive coup against Hugo Chavez, and Otto Reich, US Subsecretary of State for Latin American Affairs under George Bush.
The story is so complicated that we hesitate to even open up this topic; but that makes it even more remarkable that a Honduran newspaper not only advertised that this documentary exists, but gave such a complete account of what it brings to light. Here are some highlights from the Tiempo coverage:
A new documentary about the coup d'Etat in Honduras opens up the participation of Otto Reich and Roberto Carmona Borjas in the conspiracy that ended with the overthrow of the constitutional president Manuel Zelaya, on 28-6-2009....
[The documentary cites Carmona and Reich denying they have any contacts]
"Carmona Borjas is a public figure in Honduras because supposedly he has an NGO that is called the Arcadia Foundation...Incorporated in July of 2007, specifically for the media campaign against the government of Manuel Zelaya" [quoting Venezuelan lawyer and investigator Arturo J. Viscarra]...
"The interest of the lawyer Carmona in Honduras is very unusual, because it is not known why a Venezuelan golpista lawyer, that has gone into exile for participating in a coup [in Venezuela], reappears afterward in Honduras speaking about corruption in the state communications business (Hondutel)", noted Viscarra.
"Roberto Carmona begins a relationship with Hondutel through a business in Miami 'LD Telecommunications'. He signs a contract for a type of service. There is a dispute about money because he wants to blackmail Hondutel, but he doesn't get away with it, so then a plan is born to destabilize the government of Zelaya accusing it of corruption in Hondutel" added the investigator.
In an interview for the documentary Carmona argues "what I did was represent the business to be able to ascertain the facts about corruption in Hondutel, that was what permitted me to open the door to bring proceedings, to be able to see how a contract for telecommunications was made"....
According to Patricia Rodas, ex-chancellor of the government of Manuel Zelaya, "the day of the coup Robert Carmona was already in Honduras staying in the hotel zone San Martin [in Tegucigalpa]. Staying in a room under another name, he was directing the operations of the coup".
The documentary includes a communication kept up between Robert Carmona and a Honduran official in which they reach an agreement on the media campaign that would be carried out.... [This Honduran official is interviewed and initially denies the documented contact but later confirms it]
The conspiracy of Reich and Carmona is confirmed in interviews with Manuel Zelaya and Rodolfo Pastor, ex charge d'affaires of the Honduran Embassy in the US.
"Robert Carmona, is the lawyer for Otto Reich, when Reich went to Honduras to sign a contract with Hondutel to arrange a telephone company, Carmona was his representative" asserted Zelaya.
"They were interested in having Hondutel opened for private investment. First they made a friendly approach, in which they even proposed a deal, when president Zelaya did not accept the proposals, then they began to attack him, from that moment you have a systematic attack on the part of Otto Reich and Carmona and the supposed Arcadia Foundation that was dedicated to make accusations of corruption" affirmed Pastor....
For her part, Bertha Oliva opines that "we do believe that Otto Reich did have a great deal of participation in the coup. He made visits before, during, and after the coup, never publicized, they were closed door".
Rodolfo Pastor notes that "he was here after the coup, both in Congress as well as present in the events where he tried to whitewash the coup, personally and with representatives"....
The supporters of the coup d'Etat have represented it as a home-grown reaction. But what has long been rumor in Honduras, and is explored in this documentary, is the role of right-wing individuals and organizations, with a mixture of ideological and economic motives to change the direction of Honduras. While there is little hope that the official "truth commission" will pursue these connections, until they are out in the open, they will be part of what divides Honduras and fuels suspicions about the coup d'Etat.
The documentary is important for that reason; but even more so, the willingness of a newspaper like Tiempo to publish these arguments.